Being Of Service Through Suicide Hotlines

By Donald Turner


It is important to consider volunteering in a service that helps people and fosters well being as its primary aim. Crisis intervention is often a field where this comes into play. For reasons of unique to an individual, people face areas of distress in their lives. The problematic issues may be so strong it compels one to end his life. If you feel resilient enough to be of help in these areas, perhaps you should volunteer.

If there is a specific demographic that interests you, then explore that. Suicide hotlines are one of the specialties in this manner of care. The reasons for emotional distress are numerous. You might deal with issues surrounding rape, homelessness, alienation, childhood abuse and discrimination. To spark your interest, start with an academic curiosity. With a willingness to learn, the next steps in your journey will enhance your knowledge.

You would not immediately be tasked with handling sensitive calls. The first thing to look forward to is a training period. These are standard and process oriented modules because the quality of an institution is often a measure of its ability to receive proper funding. As you learn, you will slowly discover what it takes to address those with discomfort. Basic abilities such as rapport, active listening and evaluating clients are tackled as well as ethical issues.

Mock calls and role playing is expected. You might take turns with a partner in given scenarios. This prepares you to respond spontaneously and appropriately when confronted with callers. Difficult situations are dramatized and you might be told to successfully resolve them. These help build confidence before doing it for real.

Basic phone etiquette is also discussed during your apprenticeship period. You will be taught the importance of confidentiality, empathy and the proper techniques for conversing with others. The more hands on you become, the more you learn to react instinctively.

During your immersion, the importance of self care is revealed as well. In fast times, people have a hectic schedule. Many employees hardly think of time for relaxation. Being stationed in a crisis center hub could take a toll in the long run. Be sure to relax and rejuvenate. Take a vacation or you might eat out with family and perform recreational activities you enjoy. Having a heavy workload will cause burnout, so also prioritize some unwinding.

Self awareness is another benefit you can reap as a volunteer. When becoming involved in psychological exercises, you often discover aspects in your personality that you have yet to reveal. You potentially discover your emotional strength and hardiness.

When shifts are flexible, you should take advantage of them. Align your schedule with slots that do not conflict with the rest of the day. If a certain portion in a twenty four hour period suits you best, go for that.

Bringing positive impact to society is the ultimate goal. Social responsibility must be carried with the desire to improve in all aspects. Volunteering in a lifeline center also has the possibility of receiving future job offers because of the skills you applied in counseling and facilitation.




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